Simmons is then preparing to lead her country to Tokyo 2020 Selected as the flag bearer of England With archer John Stubs at the opening ceremony on Tuesday.
A 26-year-old suffering from achondroplasia with impaired bone growth, she will be competing in Beijing, London and Rio for her fourth tournament, where she has already won eight medals, including five gold medals.
She cites the rise of protest campaigns demanding mainstream exposure and equality of para-athletes as a major factor, and feels that disability perceptions have changed significantly in the meantime.
“Even before Beijing, people thought I would go to Special Olympics. The Paralympics and obstacles were still really obscured,” said Simmons, just 13 years old, who made his debut in China in 2008. Told. “People didn’t really know what it was.
“Obstacles, especially the Paralympics, reached their heights in London in 2012. The movements and obstacles of the Paralympics are just creeping up and amazing to see. It’s on display and amazing.
“It’s not just achondroplasia and various disorders of sports, but now it’s also in other things. You had Johnny [Peacock], You had Lauren [Steadman], You had the will [Bayley] of Strictly come to dance, had Holly [Arnold] of I’m a celebrity get me out of here..
“Reality TV has a lot of athletes with disabilities, which is very suitable for a variety of disabilities.
“And it’s not just these types of reality TVs. [programmes] But when you watch it on TV, growing children are more aware that there are so many different people.
“I think it’s okay to be different, like Black Lives Matter, all its acceptance, change, protests, and the perceptions of many different people there. “
Simmons arrived in Japan as a defending champion in a 200-meter individual medley.
The S6 swimmer will bid for the title three times in a row at the event on Thursday and will also be in the 100m breaststroke and 400m freestyle.
She cried her before she remained speechless on Sunday when she received confirmation from Chef de Mission’s Penny Brisco, even expected to join the exclusive list of British flag bearers. I admit.
“My Performance Director Chris [Furber] I called me before going to the holding camp [Athletes’] The village asked if I would like to be nominated. Because all sports usually nominate athletes who want to raise the flag, “she said.
“I was like this. I was driving-hands-free, of course-but to be honest, I really cried a little.
“In the past, I’ve been a great athlete, such as Chris Hoy, who was flagging at London 2012, Lee Pearson at the Paralympics, and a great athlete, and I’ve been flagging – the best of the best.
“”[When it was confirmed], I was just in awe and had no words. This year is a rewarding year and it is a great honor to raise the flag to absolutely everyone. “
Simmons has established itself as one of the most famous Paralympians in the country over the last 13 years.
But despite her wealth of experience and medals, she says, the burden of competition at the elite level is greater than ever.
“Now as an older woman, I’m feeling more pressure. I’m feeling all those different aspects. I’m more aware of that,” she said.
“When I was 13, I only swim when I was 17, but I’m just doing it as a sport and I’m not thinking about anything outside.
“I am now more aware of these types of challenges and work very well with psychologists.
“For me, these games are about going out, racing, having fun, doing everything you can, just being happy and immersing yourself in everything.”
Ellie Simmonds: Paralympic Awareness Backed by Black Lives Matter and Reality TV Athletes
Source link Ellie Simmonds: Paralympic Awareness Backed by Black Lives Matter and Reality TV Athletes